According to the California Community Poll conducted this month, more than 40% of Californians are thinking about leaving the Golden State, with more than half of them citing the state’s high cost of living, particularly for housing.
The Los Angeles Times, The Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality, and the Los Angeles Urban League collaborated to conduct the poll on behalf of Strategies360, a public affairs research organization. It addressed a wide range of subjects, such as residents’ perceptions of their financial well-being, sense of community, and confidence in their political systems.
The latest poll confirms similar opinions that LAist readers shared with us when we asked Angelenos what they thought Mayor Karen Bass should focus on most. In our study, more than half of participants indicated that they had “often” or “sometimes” thought about leaving Los Angeles in the previous year.
The survey was co-directed by Dan Schnur, a political communication professor at USC, Pepperdine, and UC Berkeley. Speaking on LAist’s public affairs program AirTalk, he claimed that although individuals value many aspects of California’s lifestyle and culture, they are finding it more and more difficult to settle there.
The diversity of the state, respondents’ sense of safety in California, and the amount of possibilities to engage in their favorite activities all received favorable feedback. In spite of the fact that 71% of respondents stated they were extremely or moderately satisfied with their lives in California, 40% are still thinking of moving.
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There is a lot of push and pull that is contradictory, according to Schnur. And while it currently keeps the majority of Californians in the state, they are becoming more and more concerned about their ability to make ends meet.
According to Schnur, respondents’ opinions on racial relations at the municipal and national levels varied. They had highly positive opinions of diversity and racial relations in their own communities and even in California, but they had very negative opinions of the same issues on a national level.
Without a doubt, Schnur said, “if you are a person who concerns yourself on such matters, whether you are a person of color or not, that becomes a primary disincentive to leave the state.”
More than 60% of respondents, including nearly 66% of Black residents, stated California is a location where they experience a feeling of welcome and belonging.
The poll’s partners, like the Los Angeles Urban League, had a great deal of cultural competence and expertise with their respective communities, so they were able to ask more in-depth questions that produced striking responses, which may be why those numbers seem a little unexpected, according to Schnur.
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